Valve’s new Steam revenue-sharing tiers spur controversy among indie game developers

You may have missed it, since Nov. 30 was a big news day (the G20 economic summit in Buenos Aires, the passing of an ex-president, an earthquake in Anchorage, etc.), but the big news in the world of video games came from Valve. The company’s Steam platform detailed several changes that are being made to the digital storefront for video games. The most notable of these is that, going forward, titles that earn big money on Steam will eventually graduate to new tiers in their revenue sharing model. By default, as per the old rules, Steam takes 30 percent off the top of any revenue that a given title generates on the storefront. In the new system, once a game earns $10 million in sales, Steam will adjust its share to 25 percent. If a game proceeds to hit the $50 million mark, Steam’s share further declines to 20 percent. Read the full article…

First look: ‘Giant Celebration’ lets you grow or shrink on demand to solve puzzles in VR

(Giant Cranium Image) “Hidden object” games are probably easiest to define by comparing them to the popular Where’s Waldo line of children’s books. In digital format, you play by diligently searching a cluttered environment for hints, clues, and items. For years, it’s been a popular genre in the casual and mobile markets, with titles such as Big Fish‘s Mystery Case Files or GameHouse‘s Mortimer Beckett. Giant Celebration is a new hidden object game designed for virtual reality platforms. Developed in the Unity engine by Giant Cranium, a four-person team in Bellevue, Wash., the central gimmick is that at any time, you can grow or shrink at the touch of a button. One second, you’re picking through an interactive diorama from the perspective of the person building it, and the next, you can be roughly the same size as the human-shaped action figures that the diorama was built out of. The Read the full article…

6 of the biggest graphic design trends for 2019

Trends are easy to identify a few years after they’ve happened. But they’re notoriously difficult to spot at the time. For its new issue (#287), Computer Arts spoke to a wide range of creatives, from diverse disciplines and at different levels, at creative studios across the world, to hear their takes on the trends heading our way in 2019.  Read on to discover some of the standout themes they picked up on. For the full article, which is packed with plenty more trends to discover, pick up a copy of Computer Arts #287 from Friday 7 December, available in our online magazine store or from good newsagents.  01. Smashing stereotypes Kelly Anna’s She Stole the Show exhibition celebrated women’s inner champions In illustration, there’s been one standout trend in 2018: the varied ways in which women are being represented through illustration. “From gender issues to body politics, what it’s like Read the full article…

How to make money on Instagram as a creative

With over a billion users per month, and the highest per-follower interaction rate of any social network, Instagram is a big part of many people’s lives, and is therefore big business. There are currently more than two million active advertisers on the platform, 72 per cent of people on the platform have bought something they saw on the platform, and as people increasingly use Instagram to find graphic designers or illustrators to work or collaborate with, or buy from, using the platform well is vital for creatives. If you want to make money through Instagram, you need to create engaging posts that reach as many people as possible, and start selling once you have a base of loyal followers. Shopify integration has made selling on Instagram easier than ever, but getting your feed seen by the right people is not quite as simple as it sounds. Using the platform well Read the full article…

Big Bash Boom Review

Bobble-headed players, flaming pitches and bowlers throwing actual pies: Big Bash Boom is certainly cricket like you’ve never seen it before. Yet although this NBA Jam-inspired take on Australia’s favourite summer sport is a personality-packed blast to play, its anaemic feature set and premium price makes it a weaker value proposition alongside developer Big Ant’s more robust release, Ashes Cricket. Featuring the fully licenced teams, squads and stadia from the 2018/19 BBL and WBBL competitions, Big Bash Boom is a turbocharged take on Twenty20 cricket that strips the minutiae out of the sport to make it as fast-paced as possible. LBW appeals and fielding are automated, while varying pitch and weather conditions are done away with entirely, and although some of the sports’ subtleties remain – you still need to know the difference between bowling an off cutter and an outswinger, for example – it’s otherwise cricket as a Cornetto; Read the full article…

20 Years of StarCraft: A Retrospective

In the mid-to-late 1990s, the real-time strategy (RTS) genre was not only popular but ubiquitous. RTS games of various styles and settings were everywhere, and a company named Blizzard Entertainment was at the forefront. The studio had become a household name with gamers thanks – primarily – to three titles: 1994’s Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, 1995’s Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness and an action role-playing game released on the final day of 1996 (and developed by Blizzard North), Diablo. These games cemented Blizzard as a company that made high quality cinematic story-driven experiences that were fun, accessible, and infinitely repayable. With StarCraft, its third real-time strategy game, Blizzard would leave behind the fantasy world of the breakout Warcraft franchise and set its sights on the distant future. It would take players to a science-fiction setting where humans and strange alien races engaged in isometric high-tech warfare. And the studio would Read the full article…